If it walks like a duck...

by Nita
For the Week of May 22, 2006
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If it walks like a duck...
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Are we really seeing a new and improved, kinder, gentler, marshmallow soft, family-oriented, touchy-feely Victor Newman?

Thanks to Victor, or at least the man who walks, talks, looks and acts sort of like him, from now on I will have to think at least twice before voicing that cliché about a leopard being unable to change its spots. When this new Victor suddenly appeared on my small screen last week, conciliatory syllables positively pouring from his mouth, I just nodded my head knowingly. This is just a plot, I said to myself when the lion laboriously climbed off the Newman throne and magnanimously returned it to his disbelieving little cubs. Just Victor's way, I mumbled, rubbing my hands together in gleeful anticipation. He's lulling his enemies into such a state of cozy comfort, they'll be half-asleep and will never see him coming until he lowers the boom on their unsuspecting noggins. What is it they say, I asked myself, continuing to weave my far fetched fantasy. You know, about keeping your enemies considerably closer than even your most bosom of buddies? Okay, so Victor has no bosom buddies, but that's beside the point. When he met with Neil and rather brusquely brushed off his career concerns, I still clung stubbornly to my belief. Don't worry, I shouted at Neil through the screen. There's an ace up his sleeve, I can almost see it. And then, shock number one: J.T. was told to abort his Brad-based investigation. Followed almost immediately by shock number two: Victor's announced intention to bestow upon Brad a coveted seat on the Newman board. My daughter is glowing was his inexplicable excuse. He's one of the Newman gang now, was his next. And that's when the truth finally trickled through the cracks in my cranium. There was no covert, convoluted plot afoot. What I saw was what it was. A new and improved, kinder, gentler, marshmallow soft, family-oriented, touchy-feely Victor Newman. But why, I beseeched the plot planners in dismay. How can this be? This is not the ice in his veins, complex, commanding, curmudgeon I've come to admire so fiercely. Instead, this sweet-talking, one for all and all for family, Victor has left me with my mouth ajar. Overnight it seems as if Victor has become, well ... John Abbott. And the only reason I can come up with for this uncharacteristic about face is so that when the Brad cow chips clatter into the fan blades, Victoria will not be able to find a trace of the smelly stuff clinging to Victor's palms. What rabbits will Victor pull out of his magic hat next? A Newman job for Jack? Who will be next? Phyllis? If that happens, it will really be a case of can't we all just get along. Not to mention having all his enemies under one Newman roof. Lions and tigers and bears. Oh my!

But getting back to Brad's cow chips. From the looks of things, there are indeed a few unidentified mounds buried along Brad's path to prosperity. So, although they were ordered to call off the hunt and return to the stables, the hot scent of suspicion is in their nostrils now and the bloodhounds have vowed to dig until all of Brad's secrets are spread out on the ground. I just hope what he's hiding is something big enough to cut him down to size. Because over the years, the hot pants wearing hedge clipper has become a smug, fat cat living large off the proceeds of his advantageous marriages. While I doubt his secret involves murder, I hope it's something worth waiting for. Because I don't mind admitting it would do my heart a world of good to see someone let some air out of this obnoxious wind bag.

With Victor's decision to plant Brad's behind in a Board seat, once again Neil is kicked aside like an unwanted cur. As Dru would say, enough is enough and too much is foolish. How much humiliation is the man expected to swallow from people named Newman and their lapdog Brad? Given the vastness of Newman's empire, why do Brad and Vikki insist on snatching the lion's share of Neal's already minuscule amount of the Granville pie? Why don't these two brainless minions turn their attention to Brash and Sassy? Beauty of Nature? Or any of the many other companies Newman has bought for a ditty and a dollar? I say it's way past time Neil picked up his loyalty and offered it to someone else. He's been the rug the Newmans have wiped their muddy boots on long enough. I wished he'd tell besotted Vikki and her blowhard beau to take their job and stick it ... under a desk or somewhere.

If Neil has finally had enough of the Newman's ungratefulness, maybe there's room at the top of CI for him. I know the CEO seat over there hasn't even had a chance to cool, but someone has to run it. Jill has her hands full at Jabot, so unless Kay plans to come all the way out of retirement and retake the CI reins herself, Neil or Victor could be possible successors to Jack's vacated seat.

If it's true that into each life a little rain must fall, then there must be some people out there who are only seeing sunshine and blue skies, because Jack is getting all the wet and stormy stuff meant for them. Did a black cloud pass over his life and like it so much it decided to stay and raise a family? Aided by the treachery of a yellow-bellied, bulbous-eyed back-stabber, a wooden-face nobody, incensed by the grains of truth imbedded in the tale Jack told about him, bent Kay over a barrel and forced her to fire Jack not just from Jabot but from CI as well. In return, Gibson will sign a paper presumably presenting him with more money than he and even the most wasteful future wife can spend in their lifetime. On this particular point, I stand right next to Jack. Kay should have quietly told Gibson. See you in court ... in about 10 years. I know, I know, the boycott. Jabot's hemorrhaging money. Etc. etc. But still. I guess it goes without saying that Jack has probably come to rue the day he pulled the wool over his fellow Jabot Board members eyes and maneuvered Jabot under CI's umbrella. Be careful what you plot for, Jackie.

Of course, Jack's bad week wasn't just because of business. As it turned out, that was only the tip of the iceberg. And the little that was left of his ego after Gibson's demands and Kay's decision had finished with it, was ripped completely away when he saw Brad open Nick's infidelity bag in the middle of the AC bar and pull Phyllis, hissing and scratching, out of it. At that moment, Jack must have felt a little like his father must have that long ago day when he learned his son had gained intimate knowledge of the woman he was married to. No, Jack wasn't married to Phyllis, and Nick is his ex-stepson, but the situations have a certain ironic similarity. A little bit of do unto others and what goes around comes right back at you ... eventually.

Jack's reaction to what Nick had done was immediate and presumably more painful for Nick than it was for Jack. For patrons loitering around the AC, it must have seemed like a free for all, the likes of which hasn't been seen since Bobby Marsino and J.T. staged their little Wild West showdown. In the midst of excitedly discussing Nick punching Brad, who immediately punched back, Jack's powerful punch to Nick's face must have sent them members scurrying for their cell phones to call up and tell somebody about Genoa City's most moneyed citizens knocking each other about.

The emotional confrontation between Jack and Phyllis was one of their best. Jack's lip-quivering devastation was real and heart wrenching. Jack quibbles overmuch over business, but through it all you know he adores his scheming siren. He would never have dropped her like the proverbial hot potato the way Nick did when he decided to trot back and try to heal his ailing marriage, leaving the woman who caused him to "fall" sitting alone in the wreckage of her life. Yes, Jack did give Diane entirely too much power when he was in hot pursuit of the son whose name never even crosses his lips anymore, but even then I never doubted his love for Phyllis. And while Phyllis' sorrow at being partly to blame for Jack's obvious pain was believable, it only took her a millisecond to harden her heart and start firing back. It's not easy, though, for me to feel much sympathy for her. For all the times she's butted in someone else's business telling them how they should handle the unearthing of their buried skeletons, I didn't see her rushing to tell Jack any truths before someone told them for her. And she obviously wasn't feeling his pain enough to tell him the rest of the story before someone gives that one away too, the fact that she could be carrying his baby in her belly. Instead, she's going to "hide" her pregnancy. What?! She of the form-fitting frocks thinks she can hide the bulge in her belly? A woman so toned you can practically see her most recent meal sitting in her tummy? In my opinion the only way she can do that is if she leaves town or works from home. And lastly, it's not as if Phyllis will be sitting on the sofa all alone, crying in her ice cream. She's already got Michael's comforting arms wrapped securely around her in support.

Speaking of Phyllis running to Michael with her latest tale of woe, I couldn't help the giggle or two that escaped while she was telling her side of the infidelity tale. She tried to fight it? How? By renting a hotel room, sending text messages, paying AC staff to plant a note and key in Nick's locker, posturing and preening her sexy self before him every chance she got? Wow. If that's how she tries to fight an overwhelming feeling, I'd hate to see how she'd behave if she was just going for the gusto. One last thing before I leave Phyllis alone and go poke my stick at someone else. Does she just twist the knife on purpose or does she just not waste a second in thought before she acts? I'm talking about her seeming need to rub herself in Sharon's face at every opportunity. Given the part she's played in young Noah's family distress and the searing pain the very sight of her arouses in Sharon, what in the world would possess her to push herself in Sharon and Noah's space at Crimson. She could see that neither had noticed her. So just that once, would it really have hurt her to carry her carcass in another direction before they did?

Moving on to the ex-head of Noah's house, it hasn't been a big banner week for him either. What a difference a few GC days make. Was it only the week before when Nick was clapping Brad on the shoulder, welcoming him as a scheming co-conspirator in the short-lived takeover plot to topple Daddy? And even more recently, wasn't the best man grinning happily at wedding bound Brad? Well, that was before Brad let Sharon stain his suit jacket shoulder with her salty tears. And before he was told the name of the titian-tressed torpedo that sank the already listing Newman marital liner. You know, for a man who should keep his copper coins in the safe should someone ever offer him a glass house to live in, Brad's awfully judgmental when it comes to someone else's stumbles. I know I wasn't the only fan whose prolonged laughter caused them to tumble right off the couch when Brad asked Nick what kind of a man cheats on his wife. Well, if he really wants to know, I have an answer for him. He should race right into his bathroom and look into the mirror hanging over the sink. I guarantee he'll see the very familiar face of a man who's committed that very act.

But I was talking about Nick, not Brad. Brad's hard fist has caused Nick to sing a very different tune than the one he's been humming under his breath for the past couple of weeks. In direct disagreement with his father and all three of his former cohorts in collusion, he's now backed away from his belief that Brad belongs on the Newman board. And despite his father's new credo that family is everything, I doubt he's feeling any warm and fuzzy brother-in-law feelings toward his sister's new purchase, I mean, husband. And at the moment, I don't think he's feeling much warmer toward his estranged wife. Banned from the little house on the Newman range, Sharon becomes so incensed at the merest glimpse of him, she doesn't seem to even want him to step a toe in his parents' house either. After being slashed by the sharp side of Sharon's tongue at both Newman homes, the office, even the AC, Nick is finally reaching his personal fill line. I can't tell you how happy I was to finally hear him zap her with a few zingers of his own.

Sharon is certainly making it hard, if not impossible, for many fans to feel much empathy for her. As has repeatedly been pointed out, Sharon's slate has plenty of eraser marks from her marital missteps. And while she may not have finished what was started with that St. Louis kiss, she was and STILL IS looking at Brad with lust in her eyes. By the way though I didn't see her running for an ice-packed towel to dab at Nick's bruised and battered face, I couldn't help but notice how quickly she went into Florence Nightingale mode on Brad's behalf. After another week of watching Sharon verbally lacerate Nick, I went and fetched a stepladder from the basement and placed it right next to my television set. I wanted to have in handy just in case Sharon needed it to dismount from that high horse of haughty indignation she's been galloping all over town on. After all, I wouldn't want her to fall on her pretty little ... face.

I wish Gloria would fall on her face. Heck, I'd be happy to just see her fall period. Is there a single fan who isn't fully fed up with her; who doesn't wish they could thrust their hands through the screen and throttle her senseless? Is there just a cold, drafty empty place in her cranium in the spot where a brain is usually placed? What gall she had telling Gibson how to get justice for his deceased wife. The very wife she's at least partially responsible for putting in her grave? She has me so furious, I have to keep reminding myself she's only make believe. If it would have been possible, I would have leaped through my screen and covered cute Michael's cheek with sloppy kisses when he ripped Gloria up one side and down the other. I only wish his dire prediction for a Jabot without Jack would actually come too pass. It would so serve Gloria right to find that without Jack, Jabot was in danger of swirling down the drain of the porcelain throne.

Having said that, though, even while I adore him, I am at the same time equally perturbed with our Michael. He claims he feels bad for failing Jack and Jabot. But apparently, he doesn't feel badly enough to turn in his poor excuse for a Mother. He knows, despite Jack's too-loose lips, Mommy is the true cause of this calamity. Yet Michael is standing by and helping her set Jack and Ashley up as scapegoats for her duplicity. Though he doesn't know it, Jack is right on the money by advising Kay to get another attorney. Because despite what he says, the only best interests Michael is protecting are his devil's spawn Mother's.

Is Dru right? Was Lily's email error intentional? I never really considered that possibility. But now that she's mentioned it, I have to wonder. Lily is definitely showing little love for Mommy dearest. And I don't quite buy that it's all because of her conception cover-up. Maybe it's just me, but Lily seems to be purposely stoking the fires of contention between Dru and Neil. For instance, after arguing with Dru yet again, Lily headed straight to Neil's office. When he assured her his current state of melancholy was due to business mess, not family, she hurriedly gave him her rather slanted take on her latest clash with Dru. Giving him another reason to turn further away from his Boo. Yes, Lily continues to annoy me. I don't wanna go to my graduation, she mumbled, mouth as always, drooping in that petulant pout. 'Cause Mom's gonna be all phony and stuff, like we're a happy family. Ugh! Well honey, keep your complaining carcass at the caretaker's cottage then. It seems the only family she's interested in is one with Daniel.

And lastly, after watching Mac's looong, rather pointless goodbye. Yes, it did give Kevin, one of my favorites, a chance to show off his acting chops, and I did enjoy that part of it. But I wasn't much moved by Mac and Kay's tearful time together. And her final conversation with J.T. didn't do much for me either. Her advice to Colleen. Well, we know that was a waste of time. Like anything anyone says could cause Colleen's to stop stalking J.T.. So, I guess in the future, we fans will be careful what we wish for. Don't just paint people off the canvas without so much as a bye your leave, we cried. The least you could do is let them bid everyone adieu. Well, we asked and we received. I bet next time, many of us will be satisfied with a passing mention that tells us where the recently departed disappeared to.

Well fans, you are raring to go with plenty of witticisms to share. So let me step out of the way and make room for all of you. And remember, just like my written words, the views shared here are the writer's alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of anyone in charge.

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KORA - I was wondering how other people felt about new lily--- lily 6.0 as I call her. I cannot stand her...ugh...She seems so young compared to the other one that played her. I think Daniel needs a better girl -- I think he is pretty likable too-- He kind of reminds me of David Tom's character from a few years ago- billy! Ahh Billy.... Anyway--I think the writers need to bring in a new love interest for him-- but not someone you have to learn to like--someone you like instantly. How do we feel about this?

ALISSA - You are an amazingly talented writer, and each weekend I look forward to reading your highly amusing and clever column! My two cents about the show: 1. Does any work ever get done at Newman Enterprises? Between all the sneaking around, eavesdropping, mail delivery conversation, and hallway action, what kind of jobs do these people have? Can I please apply for a position there? 2. LOVE Victor Newman. Sooo glad he's back front and central in the show. Great head-butts, by the way. How could anybody hate Victor? Could you puhleese explain that one to me? The guy is hunky, sexy, strong, funny, smart, and, yes, from time to time, a control freak. But I'd give my right arm to have him as my husband or father or whatever! And have you ever seen anyone look better in a black t-shirt and jeans? Me thinks not. 3. NuVictoria + NuLily + NuColleen = Three Times NOT a Charm. Can we recast the recasts? Ugh, ugh, and ugh! 4. Have you ever seen two kids as ungrateful as Nick and Victoria? Helllooo, whoever said you were entitled to be co-CEO's of a major multi-national corporation by your 33rd birthdays? I mean, how many chief executive officers under the age of 50 do you see among the Fortune 500? 5. Am I the only one bored to bits by the Neil and Dru story? I've been following this one seemingly since I was a small child... and I can hardly stay awake. Please wake me when these two get divorced so I can see Neil move on to someone far more appealing a character than Dru. 6. Love the new innovative camera shots - elevators, hallways, outside parking lots, etc. Way to go, producers - I think it adds a whole new fresh element to the show.

SHERRI - I love your column. I agree regarding Vikki and Brad. No chemistry between these two actors at all. It's like they were on for the wedding and then off, on and then off, everybody in Genoa City doesn't want them married and I agree with them. I still can't get used to Amelia Heinle as Vikki. She is just not the right actress for this role. And what's up with Sharon, I missed her throwing herself at Brad, but I would have had to laugh really loud! Don't count your chickens before they hatch! LOL

TREY - I just wanted to say how excited I was this past week, with the big reveal that Lily is not Neil's daughter. I thought Kristoff St. John and Victoria Rowell and even Davetta Sherwood did a beautiful job at capturing every emotion. Dru was obviously remorseful for her actions and that emotion came through her tears and performance. Although, we soap fans have seen this kind of storyline play out before, once again Y&R does a terrific job at capturing every detail, every emotion, to make the viewer feel for the characters. My heart broke for Neil, and I actually felt sorry for Dru. I love her and seeing her world crash around her was hard. Victoria Rowell just does a phenomenal job at conveying her anger at Lily and her regret to Neil. She's so very natural. I know I've said it before, but Victoria's daytime Emmy nomination is long overdue!

JUDI - "Miracle baby"? God gets blamed for a lot of things He shouldn't, but let's not blame this on Him. "Spawn of Satan" would fit better. Anyway, on to Victor -- I cannot believe everyone did not foresee this happening back when Victor was being John's "friend" right before John went off to prison. It has come down exactly as I expected. Victor has given over control of Newman, his good friend Katherine is going to need someone to take over control of CI, Victor will step in to save the day and John/Jack will again have lost Jabot to Victor Newman. It was all a set up and Victor pulled John's, Gloria's and Jack's strings perfectly.

GENE - Hi, I am a big fan of your column and can't wait to read it every week. I think Brad and Vikki are weak and uninteresting and how can you marry your mother's ex is so sick. I think Brad is up to something and I hope that J.T. and Paul figure out what it is and deflate his huge ego. Sharon, quit whining about Nick's infidelity. Either take him back or leave him. Nick should show more responsibility for the breakup too. I am sick of everyone on Phyllis when Nick was enjoying it too. I think Victor should keep running the company because Nick is too focused on his personal life and Vikki is too focused on Brad to get business done. They are running the company to the ground. Dru should have told Neil about the night she slept with Malcolm. Now she is making excuses for it. Too bad, I think they deserve to feel betrayal and hurt when they force Lily not to date Daniel and judging him. I am a fan of Adrienne Leon, but her character is working my last nerves. Why is she so hung up on J.T.? I know that he is her first love, but come on. He didn't even do right by her and she still think he's all that? Girl, get a grip. I am mad at the writers for turning her into a whiny, desperate girl instead of a strong, independent, smart girl that we know she is. Gloria needs to be caught and pay for her actions. I was a fan of her and hope she does right, but she lost my sympathy when she's destroying the company her husband built.

LAVENDAR - I'm hoping you can answer a question for me. With all the anger at Dru over Malcolm being Lily's father, didn't Malcolm rape Drucilla and that's how this whole mess got started? It's been years since it happened so I'm not sure of the whole issue surrounding the rape, but I thought he drugged her or something and then took advantage of her. Why is she looked at as the bad guy? Are they rewriting history or am I just confused?

KATHY - I really enjoyed your comments this week about the Nick/Sharon/Jack/Phyllis situation. I can hardly wait to see the show the next several days because it looks like Brad tries to come to Sharon's rescue with Nick and Jack accidentally overhears. So, Phyllis is going to be in it up to her pretty little neck with Jack. The main thing that bugs me about Phyllis is that she is just so self-serving. And, Dru may have a ton of responsibility for her current family situation but if Phyllis hadn't been poking her nose in where it didn't belong just so she could get the goods on another of her antagonists, Lily likely would never have known about Malcolm really being her father. Of course, Daniel told Phyllis that Lily knew and Phyllis' response was her typical "I never meant for Lily to find out that way". Yeah, right. And she has a good used car to sell me, too.

SANDI - My, My, My, doesn't Gloria just have a brain! Or not! What makes her think her cell phone cannot be traced and all her calls to Mr. Gibson eventually found out? What evil web we weave Gloria and how will you get yourself out of this one when and if you are found out? I just read your commentary and the paragraph about Neil "hit the nail on the head" with Victoria giving Brad a choice position and Neil getting left out. And Victor, what was that all about, leaving Neil out in the cold when he just said he always had a place with Newman? I guess blood is thicker than water.

JULIE - You have something major going on with almost every major player. Maybe a little too busy this time. Why are they getting off track with Gloria? Get back to why this disaster happened with the product and CATCHING Gloria before something is done that Jack can't head any company. It really went from one extreme to the other with this one. Too far I feel. Gloria really should be caught and this should not drag on any more. There is so much more going on with the soap that one villain should be caught. Nick and Sharon another one. Just once I would like to see a couple stay together without another person involved but too late. See if you can salvage this one. Phyllis is in the background but you already have an option for her. I really have a problem with the Gloria thing. I never thought it would go this far and now it looks as though you are going to take Jack out for good. I really want Gloria shown for what she did.

ROSA - The Lily character has long needed a good whipping or a back hand lick in her mouth. Black Children do NOT speak to their parents the way you have this girl behaving especially with her mom. That has always been unreal. The Black Mother has always been the power line in the family, but someone is smoking some bad stuff and writing wrong for Lily. Also, why do these children have to know so much of their parents business and the tail wagging the dog? Why did Devon have to know what happened between Dru and Neil's brother? I had to stop watching for a while because of Nick's speakings to VICTOR. It was despicable, rude and made Josh Morrow so ugly that now he has a new look and it's not good. Thanks for putting clothes on Drucilla and Phyllis because they appeared to competing for "Female Business Hookers Anonymous" and it wasn't nice. Businesswomen looking like street women. I'll be glad when JUDITH LIGHT gets on her broomstick and flies away. It's sickening to watch her walk around as if she had clothespins holding her eyes open and a brace under her neck. Also, to watch her acting like the Daytime "Mrs. Kravits" from Bewitched is deplorable. You're calling a Squab Dinner a Filet Mignon and it's really Kentucky Fried Chicken. Why is Kay Chancellor such a fool all of the time? Why is Jack always on the carpet? Why don't we let someone know that Phyllis tried to kill Cricket and Paul over 10 years ago? When is Daniel going to be found out about drugging Lily? Where is Brock, Snapper, and Greg? Why does Brad have to marry every body in the Abbott family but Jack? Most of all, Jerry Douglas simply CANNOT leave this show! You've made my good looking John Abbott tolerant of anything. Just stop him from being stupid about these crazy women. Why is it Dru was raped by Malcolm while under the influence of medication which brought about Lily and now, Brooke is raped by Ridge while she's on medication and I'm sure she'll be pregnant. Where is the originality of this great show? Where is Cricket the Wonder Woman? When do we find out Michael is hiding his mom's actions? This is dragging out too long. This is a good show people, if I didn't like it, I wouldn't know what's going on so please, I beg of you, do us better. This trouble shooter needs to go back and send someone more mature who can perform that job. She's no match for Jack. Peter Bergman's character is too strong to be subjected to this weak person. Too bad Heather Tom or another actress couldn't do this so we can really see Victoria instead of someone like this new Victoria who can't carry this role.

G - Love the scoops, and thank god for the VCR. What I am noticing more and more (aside from some of the unreal storylines) is that the show is so short! What is with all the freakin' commercials? 5 mins of show - 7 mins of commercials! No wonder when I tape it only takes 1/2 an hour to watch.

ANN - I think the storyline on Gloria has drawn out too much. It does not need a genius to see she is behind all of this. Victoria needs to leave Nick to run the company, personal decisions are not usually best. Sharon who has cheated on Nick if I remember 3 or 4 times is in no position to be demanding. I hope Phyllis' baby is for Nick; that would bring some flavor to the show. Finally I want to see Olivia and Victor's son with the Blind woman and some of the old characters again.

TANIKA - I am a hopeless romantic and I hope Sharon and Nick can work out their problems. I do think Sharon and Phyllis being pregnant at the same time would be interesting. I hope the baby is not Nick's and Phyllis starts acting strange and he sees her for the psycho tramp she is. Do you think he would care to know that Jack could be the father? He is so crazy about her it doesn't matter. But I don't see a lasting relationship between Nick and Sharon. He will just have offspring like his dad. Where is that boy by the blind lady anyway?

ERIN - Love your column! I never get to watch anymore, but I read the daily recaps and never miss Two Scoops! I can overlook many silly storylines and plot points because I enjoy the show, but I work in the law department of a large company, and I can't stand this "Gibson settlement" storyline! There is no company on the planet that would fire an exec -- not only from the company, but also from the parent company -- to avoid a lawsuit. Companies get sued constantly - it's a fact of doing business! They really need to come up with a better excuse to force Jack out. This is just idiotic! Of course, Jabot and Chancellor do make a lot of stupid decisions.

TONYA - I love Y and R. However, I wish Heather Tom would wake up from her New York dream and say, I wanna go back home. The new Victoria is a baby and I don't like her very much. I am sure she is nice in real life and I liked her in AMC. However, Ms. Tom had the fire that Victoria needs, not the wimpy, oh Bradley whine. Poor Dru and Neil. I wish they had shipped Lily to Africa with Malcolm to play with the lions. What is up with Gloria? She is evil. And where is Christine?

BETSY - "Pod Victor" - great name. Hubby and I assumed it was the bump on his head during the robbery scuffle that changed him. 'Else, it's part of his master plan to suck his entire family in, then zap 'em when they get used to his podism. Either way, we both gape when Pod Victor appears. IMO, Neil's going to be at Jabot by the end of Sweeps month. Carmen - she's pretty much doing everything by the marketing/publicist book. The writers needed an outsider to do the dirty work to move the storyline along. They must have big plans for Jack and also have succeeded in giving Katherine and Jill a chance to act again, not just have lunch to share updates. Brad - is it just me, or does that picture Paul & J.T. keep showing of the 'real' Brad look familiar? Some actor I can't quite place? Is he going to come onto the show? Sharon - good writing - they are developing a divorce scenario that sounds just like the real, ugly thing it is. Like, her jumping to conclusions about Nick moving to the main house. Nick is right - whatever he does is wrong as far as Sharon is concerned. Wish he'd start throwing her peccadillos back at her, though. THAT would be very real, down, and dirty! Overall, I like the general shake-up with storylines and character personalities due to the new writers. They are also reopening and bringing closure to some really old lines and having the characters learn lessons that stick so they mature and grow (Phyllis - will let your child know its paternity from Dru's example of what NOT to do?)

WANDA - Did Phyllis raid the "rag bag" for her blue blouse and red skirt she wore this week? Her and Daniel must be dressing out of the same bag. That tie and the shirt tail not tucked in was really terrible business attire. Nick and J.T. could use some advice from somEone on their business attire as well. Is everyone on Y&R pure as the "driven snow" these days? They are all so quick to judge N&P. Sharon, Brad, Victor, Jack, Daniel. I can think of a few dozen indiscretions committed by just these 5 "goody two-shoes". I'm getting a little miffed at Michael. I was starting to really like him. But by him letting Jack and Jabot take the fall for his Mommy Dearest dastardly deeds is really starting to turn me off to him. Since when is Katherine such a business person anyway? No self respecting business owner would allow someone like Gibson to call the shots. All of these years I never ever saw or heard of her going to CI. She always had another person running the company while she was busy drinking or chasing some man. Was Brad and Victoria's eyes dancing or what, when Victor put Bradley on the board at NE?? Bradley is so arrogant these days. I get a "sugar high" just listening to Victor sweet talk everyone. What in the world is he up to? His meeting with Jack next week will surely shed some light on this subject. The old adage, "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer" certainly applies here I'm sure. Nikki looks better than she did BEFORE she got shot in the back. The miracles of modern medicine. The teacher just happened to have a picture (at least 20 years old) of the "other Bradley Carlton" at his fingertips. It was nice of the church to allow Paul and J.T. to rummage through their files like that. When is Nick going to tell Sharon where to get off at? I'm so sick of her high handedness (as if she has never done anything wrong).

KELLI - I really like your commentary and I agree with most of everything you write about. I just can't stand Sharon and her attitude. Come on. She's had more affairs than Nick and I like Nick with Phyliss. Although I will get tired of Sharon crying all the damn time like Brooke on B&B. Gloria is so evil. I can't wait until they find out it was her. Unfortunately, I think Kevin and Michael are going down with her. Michael should have turned her in when he had the chance. Now he's on that sinking boat. I hope Lauren doesn't leave him for it. By the way, Who the hell is Brad Carlton? That should be a very, very good storyline developing before our eyes. I hope the writers do it justice. Anyway, keep up the good work.

GEORGINA - I think that Gloria is just plain evil for poisoning that Gibson woman and then getting Jack fired. Colleen is entirely too childish for my liking holding onto J.T. like she's hanging on to a toy. He's backing away from her for a good reason, she's too clingy for his liking. Speaking of J.T. I really don't have much respect for him since he slept with Victoria when he was still with Mac. He should learn to keep his hands to himself, I tell you people on soaps act like barnyard animals. Victoria should have never married Brad because he just wants Newman Enterprises for himself and I think he's a killer. As for Nick he's just a plain dog for cheating on his wife and Nikki shouldn't be telling Sharon that he deserves another chance.

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